Boat blows up near coast of Gujarat
Suspected Infiltration Attempt foiled by Coast Guards
A suspected terror bid was foiled by the Coast Guard on New Year’s Eve when officials intercepted a suspicious boat near the Porbandar coast off Gujarat, say reports.
The boat was reportedly carrying four suspected terrorists and had begun its journey from Karachi in Pakistan, according to Times Now.
The Pakistani vessel, which had set off from near Karachi on the eve of New Year, turned into a ball of fire and sank after its occupants (estimated to be four in number), set fire to it early Thursday, about seven hours after it was spotted following an intelligence tip off. The National Technical Research Organization (NTRO) was reportedly tracking the boat right after it left Karachi. NTRO later on notified the Coast Guard about the boat, after which it was tracked down using a Dornier aircraft. When the boat was around 365 kilometers from the coast of Porbandar, the boat was intercepted by a Coast Guard vessel, after which a chase followed.
“Due to darkness, bad weather and strong winds, the boat and persons on board could not be saved or recovered. The boat burnt and sank in the same position in early hours of Jan 1,” a defence ministry statement said.
Intercepted Calls being analysed
According to reports, defence ministry is now inspecting a call intercepted between two people who are believed to be a terrorist on the boat and a handler. “You have to act according to the situation on the other side,” said one person in the call, according to Times Now. Another voice from the call reportedly said, “Five lakh each has been paid to the families of the people on boat.” The last message from the call intercept said, “We have received the weapons.”
Defence Minister lauds alert Coast Guard
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar praised the Coast Guard for the action taken against the boat. “The sea was rough…The Coast Guard did their job exceedingly well and on time,” he said. “They averted a situation.”